War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0365 Chapter XVII. CAPTURE OF FORT DONELSON, TENN.

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taken no part in the surrender; had received no orders or instructions from the Federal authorities; had not been recognized or even seen by any of the general officers; had been given no parole, and had made no promises. If my escape involves any question of military law, duty, or honor, I desire it may be thoroughly investigated, and I shall submit with pleasure to any decision of the proper authorities.

Having failed to do so in the proper place, I take pleasure in acknowledging my indebtedness to R. B. Ryan, aide-de-camp to Colonels Davidson and Simonton, for a written statement of facts connected with the operations of Colonel Davidson's brigade on February 15. I also can bear testimony to the activity and efficiency of Lieutenant Ryan during the defense of Fort Donelson.

My impression is that our loss in killed and wounded on the left wing does not exceed 500; that of the enemy was perhaps 3,000.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

Captain G. A. HENRY, Jr.,

Assistant Adjutant-General.


Estill Springs, Tenn., November 8, 1862.

Having been advised by General Pillow that I shall subserve the simple cause of justice and aid to furnish facts necessary to a proper understanding by the Government of the operations of the army at Fort Donelson by giving a statement of the purposes determined upon in the conference of general officers on the night of February 14, I cheerfully submit the following facts as a supplementary report:

It was resolved to attack the enemy's right, with a view first to whip him and drive him from his design upon our position. Failing in this, it was proposed and decided to put our way out of the fort and untie with the army at Nashville. The plans and preparations necessary to commence the retreat, after the way was opened, or the circumstances which should determine exactly when it should commence were not settled more definitely than indicated in general terms given above. How and when the retreat should begin was not determined in conference, and these were clearly things to be determined at a subsequent period. There was no proposition made in the conference to retreat from the battle-field and no determination made to do so. If a proposition had been made for a retreat from the field of battle, it would at once have suggested the necessity of making proper provisions for the march, of food and clothing for the intensely cold weather, and an additional supply of ammunition; and such preparation made previously to the battle would have greatly loaded down and encumbered the men in the fight.

From the character of the field upon which we fought we were not able to use or artillery on it, and did not take it out of our line of works. From the position of the enemy and the condition in which we found our army after the fight I do not believe a successful retreat could have been immediately made. The retreat would have had to be made fighting. The proper time, in my opinion, would have been at night, after reforming the command and supplying its wants. I was not present at the conference of officers on the night of the 15th, but during the night I received orders announcing the fact that